Eucharistic Congress 2008: I am the Living Bread
Some great photos from The Georgia Bulletin can be found here.
From the same publication: Speakers Challenge Catholics To Take Action
As the next speaker, Dr. Helen Alvaré strode to the podium and said, “The girl is here.”
An author and law professor at George Mason University, Alvaré touched on the topics of feminism, marriage and the Eucharist, as well as sharing experiences from her 10 years of work in the pro-life movement with the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. After spending time with women who had had abortions, she found “their internal brokenness in relationships, in their parenthood” to be heart-rending.
Abortion, said Alvaré, “is always the last sad decision … a relationship you are refusing with the child.”
Alvaré stated that only in the United States are you “allowed to kill a member of your family at the most vulnerable time … and consider it not a crime but a right.”
Alvaré is now studying and working in the area of marriage and the Eucharist, and the relationship between the two sacraments seems to her to be strongly “intertwined.”
“Fewer are regularly participating in marriage,” she said. “More people are likely to cohabit before, during, and in place of marriage.”
“It’s no coincidence that eucharistic participation is also suffering.”
In her theological reading, she’s found that Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI—“I cannot tell you how much I love these guys”—have written on the “subjects of family and marriage with a particularly kind eye to women.”
A former “grad school feminist,” Alvaré grew to believe in the “inspiration of Catholic teachings.” She discussed at length the idea of finding freedom in commitment and service to others.
Pope Benedict, she said, described the Eucharist as a “sacrament of love, a final act in a lifetime of faithful love, faithful service.”
“This love and service involves both body and soul. … The Son gives it all up for us.”
In Catholic teaching, she said, “service is everyone’s vocation.”